Derby City Council has launched a trial scheme to block-book 100 rooms for ‘roofless’ citizens to isolate themselves during the coronavirus outbreak.
A total of 100 rooms will be made available for the next 90 days and will be prioritised for those already known to the council and homeless charities.
Derby Homes, working on behalf of the council, worked with Atlas Hotels Group, to provide this shelter. Those without a home and sleeping rough are significantly more likely to have underlying health conditions, including respiratory problems, than the wider population. Rough sleepers are also ‘far less likely’ to be able to follow Public Health England’s advice on self-isolation, social distancing and handwashing.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Chris Poulter said:
“Our deepest thanks and appreciation go to Atlas Hotels Group, for their help in responding to our call. Derby simply must have measures in place for those who are homeless and those that become homeless. Otherwise, we are putting their lives and the lives of others at increased risk”.
Key partners across the city, including the Police and Crime Commissioner, Derby City Council Public Health and Derby Homes are pooling their collective rough sleeping resources to help support this trial initiative and other homeless services across the city.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, Hardyal Dhindsa said:
“National circumstances are changing fast, so partners are acting quickly and responsibly to collectively do our bit to help everyone, especially the most vulnerable. I want to thank all the agencies for continuing to work in partnership during these challenging times.”
The provision at Holiday Inn Express will initially be in place for three months and remain under review with regard to changing national and local requirements during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Access to the accommodation will be through assessment by the Council’s Housing Options Service.